Kansas high school football is back. Therefore, it’s time for some predictions.
There are some interesting matchups on Friday night, especially in the Sunflower League, which elected to clear the first week of its season for open scheduling.
On a weekly basis, I will tackle some predictions on the Varsity Zone blog. Check back here each Friday before you head out to your favorite games.
Bishop Miege (0-0) at Blue Valley Northwest (0-0)
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The Stags and Huskies are going to jump right into Eastern Kansas League play with this high-powered matchup. Miege is led by quarterback Ryan Willis, who is already committed to the University of Kansas, while Blue Valley Northwest has the league’s top returning rusher.
Prediction: Blue Valley Northwest 28, Bishop Miege 21
Garden City (0-0) at Olathe East (0-0)
This is the second of two intriguing non-league and non-district matchups that will be played Friday at the College Boulevard Activity Center. Garden City went 8-4 last year and lost in the Kansas Class 6A substate championship and Olathe East fell one round earlier to finish 7-4.
Prediction: Olathe East 24, Garden City 21
Hays (0-0) at Olathe Northwest (0-0)
The first game of the CBAC double header pits the Ravens against another intriguing out of town team. Olathe Northwest struggled last year, but was already showing signs of improvement. The Ravens return a pair of talented and experienced running backs in Adam Harter and Eli Pruss.
Prediction: Olathe Northwest 14, Hays 10
St. Thomas Aquinas (0-0) at Mill Valley (0-0)
First-year coach Randy Dreiling of Aquinas will hit the ground running against an experienced Mill Valley squad. The Jaguars went undefeated in the regular season and knocked Aquinas out of the Class 5A playoffs before advancing to the sectionals and losing to eventual champion Blue Valley.
Prediction: Mill Valley 28, St. Thomas Aquinas 17
Shawnee Mission East (0-0) at Gardner Edgerton (0-0)
I picked this as my “Spotlight Game” on the Kansas side mostly because these two teams were so intriguing last year. Both squads dropped just one game in the regular season, but SM East made a historic push to the Class 6A state championship game, where the Lancers lost to Derby.
Prediction: Shawnee Mission East 35, Gardner Edgerton 28
To reach Kathleen Gier, call 816-234-4875 or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter: @kgier.